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The Foibles of Love

Theater Preview
by Kevin T. McEneaney
Wed Apr 11th, 2018

Brian Keeler and Peggity Price 

Love Letters, a surprise hit play by A. R. Gurney that was a 1998 Pulitzer Prize finalist, will be performed at Stissing House in Pine Plains this weekend. Love Letters remains the most popular American two-character play ever written. This coming Saturday’s performance featuring Peggity Price and Brian Keeler promises a dynamic duo for an evening of what James Thurber once called the “battle of the sexes.” The event will be a genial delight.

Price is well known for performances in the television series Law and Order (1990) and its sequel Law and Order: Criminal Intent (2001). The general public may not know that her background includes a long career in local drama. Brian Keeler, an actor and writer who is also the executive director of Pine Plains Memorial Hall, has been successful as the voice of Burger King and Fidelity Investments on television and radio as well as theater around the globe.

The play will be directed by Joe Capone, an actor and movie director. Capone is widely known as the assistant director for Playing It Cool (2014); Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014), which captures the contagious, impish humor of the beloved children’s book; and USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (2016). Capone will highlight the humor of Gurney’s classic play.

Love Letters is a plunge into memory, with two friends reminiscing about past events in their lives through reading letters, postcards, birthday-party notes, and so on. The play portrays the arc of a romance that covers fifty years of the characters’ lives since they first fell in love while attending boarding schools. The irony of their deep spiritual relationship is somewhat tragic, as it is nearly platonic: they each married another mate. This ensures that nostalgia is kept in check as they recall past events, tragic and hilarious, in their lives. A play of tender humor, Love Letters will charm any audience.

The performance this Saturday, April 14, at Stissing House on South Main Street in Pine Plains, is free, but since seating is limited, attendees are required to register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/love-letters-by-ar-gurney-tickets-44258014914. For more information call (518) 738-3409 or go to the Pine Plains Memorial Hall’s website at http://ppmemorialhall.org.